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As the cost of hybrid seed is higher, proper nursery management is very important to economize the cost for seed material, which is to be purchased afresh every season.
Sequential steps to be followed in Nursery Management of Hybrid Rice:
a) Nursery preparation: Wet beds of 1 m width & of convenient length with good drainage facility should be prepared. For 100 m2 nursery area, 250 kg FYM, 0.5 kg N, 0.5 kg P2O5 & 0.5 kg K2O should be applied.
b) Seed rate: A seed rate of 15-20 kg ha-1 is recommended for hybrid as compared to 40-50 kg ha-1 for HYVs.
c) Seed soaking: An amount of 15-20 kg hybrid seed is to be soaked for 12-15 hours to plant 1 ha of main field.
d) Seed treatment: Pre-soaked seeds are to be treated with carbendazim 50% WP at the rate of 4 g kg-1 seed.
e) Seed incubation: Seeds are to be incubated in gunny bags for 1-2 days for better sprouting.
f) Seed sowing: The sprouted seeds are to be sown sparsely and uniformly on well-prepared seed beds. Sparse sowing of hybrid seed at the rate of 20-30 g m-2 is recommended to obtain strong, healthy and multi-tillered seedlings in 20-25 days for planting.
g) Nursery area: Total nursery area required for sowing 15-20 kg of seed is 750-1000 m2.
h) Management: Thin film of water is to be maintained without allowing the beds to dry at anytime. The nursery beds of 100 m2 area are to be top dressed after 15 days after sowing (DAS) with 0.6-0.8 kg of N. Appropriate plant protection measures may be taken, if necessary.